1. Russia has a bunch of excellent computer scientists, and Yandex seems to have picked up a bunch of them. The Russians always excelled at algorithms (I’d go so far as to say that their mathematics training beats ours handily), and search is a game of algorithms. I’m told that the Russian language is more difficult for computers to deal with than English (it is an inflected language, unlike ours), and so the Yandex algorithms originally developed for Russian really shine when aimed at English sites.
2. It gives me very good results – for most things I’ve been looking for, better than Google. Google’s blogsearch has become a joke, which is perhaps a testament to Google’s internal lack of focus. I find that bloggy related searches are much more productive on Yandex.~
~And now we come to what brought me to Yandex in the first place: Google is evil. We all know it. Furthermore, Google seems to be playing footsie with the US Government Intelligence Agencies:
One privacy advantage Yandex has which Google never will: Yandex does not do business with American intelligence agencies. I do not like the fact that Google has become an arm of US intelligence agencies. It is to their credit that Google discloses their relationship with the US government (most of Silicon Valley is in bed with the spooks, but they don’t talk about it). It is the surveillance state that I abhor. Yandex may very well be doing the same thing with the Russian government, but the FSB is a much smaller threat to American civil rights than our own spooks. While I see no imminent dangers from the all-seeing eye, and I am far from paranoid, the US is going through a weird time right now, and history is a dark and bloody subject. Do I really want the future government to know what websearches I was doing in 2010? No, thanks, tovarich.
Paranoia? I don’t think so. And, just for S & Gs, I ran Guffaw in AZ on Yandex.
20 returns on the first page – only one in Russian. Only one about guffawing, and not the blog. Seems focused, as Borepatch intones.
I’m thinking of using this occasionally (instead of BING), just to annoy the three-letter folks in bed with Google. Otherwise, what good is a “uncensored” Internet?
Hell, I’m already on ‘the list.’